Murdered man's fruit and veg shop to close

Harry Holland with his daughter MeabhHarry Holland with his daughter Meabh
Harry Holland with his daughter Meabh
A fruit and veg shop run by murdered west Belfast man Harry Holland is to close its doors this week after over 20 years in business.

His daughter Meabh confirmed Friday would be the last day the shop on Glen Road would be open, but said the business would continue as on online delivery service.

Mr Holland was 65 when he was killed after he confronted a gang of youths in the Norfolk Drive area of west Belfast on the night of September 12, 2007 as he was returning from a pub quiz.

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In 2009, Stephen McKee was sentenced to a minimum of 12 years in prison for Mr Holland’s murder.

A court was told McKee had struck the greengrocer on the head with a screwdriver. He died later in hospital.

Mr Holland’s daughter said it was with much sadness that the shop was to close its doors.

She said: “We will be closing the shop for good on Friday, but we are going to continue with our online business delivering wholesale and doing home deliveries with the veg boxes, etc, through our Facebook page.

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“We get all our fruit and veg from local farmers every morning, so we’ll still be providing the freshest and best goods.”

His daughter added: “I took over the shop when he died.

“We received tremendous support after my daddy died and we were proud to keep the business open with his name above the door.

“I’m not working in the shop any more. It’s been my husband who has been running it now for a couple of years. Sadly the competition from big supermarkets has meant we have to go online only.”

The business had been set up by Mr Holland as a “retirement project” with his family saying it “became a wee den for him and his friends to chat, smoke roll-ups and listen to Bob Dylan and Warren Zeevon in peace”.

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“It has been a happy place for us, as it was for him,” said his family in a Facebook post.

They added: “After he was killed, the support of his friends and our neighbours helped us open again.

“We especially want to thank everyone who placed big orders in the days after his funeral, to enable us to restock the shop and open the doors.

“It’s why we love this place, and its people.”

They added: “The competition from big supermarkets has been tough and we have been operating at a loss for some time.

“We have mouths to feed so have to be practical.”

The family thanked “every friend and neighbour” who supported the business.